Windows 8 has been around for quite a bit now, and Windows 8.1, the community inspired free update to Windows 8, is already available as a pre-release download. But, according to AppSense, 45% of companies are still running Windows XP, and Gartner reports that most organizations wait a full two years after a new operating system release before upgrading. The question is, should they be?
PC World says that the vast majority of companies will be sticking with Windows 7, in lieu of upgrading to Windows 8. However, Windows 8 is still a great improvement over Windows 7, and offers some great features. Here are our five favorite reasons to make the move to Windows 8.
Windows 8 is faster at just about everything. The main point almost everyone talks about is start-up. During our trial runs, Windows 8 managed to boot up in almost half the time the same system took to load Windows 7. This may seem trivial, but saving even a few seconds every startup adds up to a significant chunk of time over the course of a year.
Touch screens and interfaces are the future. As much as some people may want to hold on to the physical keyboard and mouse, there is no question that we will be moving to a primarily touchscreen based office very shortly. So, why not start now? Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 is built to work with touch from the ground up, making the process easier and less frustrating. At the same time, it is still fully controllable with a mouse and keyboard, making it a best of both worlds device.
3. Windows To Go
If there was one feature that really stands out as being ideal for businesses in Windows 8, it is Windows To Go. This feature, found in the Enterprise version of Windows 8, allows you to create a fully-featured bootable Windows 8 environment that you can carry around on a thumb drive. This feature is a great way to manage security and compliance in a business world where employees frequently work from home or use personal devices for work activities. It also makes your IT team’s job easier by letting them carry around their emergency copy of Windows for use in diagnosing and fixing broken computers.
4. Improved Networking
Let’s face it—Windows has always had a bit of an issue with identifying and connecting to mobile networks. At best, it was cumbersome and unintuitive. At worst, it simply didn’t work. Windows 8 introduces a raft of updates to the Wi-Fi interface and connectivity. Not only is the entire process easier to use for even novice and tech-phobic users, the Wi-Fi actually works much better, with fewer dropped connections or connection issues.
5. Improved Security Features
The security features of Microsoft’s latest OS have been seriously beefed up and have also been mademore user-friendly and unobtrusive. The improved security starts with a new Secure Boot feature, which only allows signed and verified software to start at boot and keeps BIOS and kernel-level viruses and malware from being introduced. It continues to an improved SmartScreen which actively monitors all network traffic for malware, and then goes on through an improved Windows Defender that incorporates most of the old Windows Security Essentials. Finally, Windows 8 uses a more intuitive automatic update process that makes sure users’ computers are as secure as possible.
Don’t put off your transition out of Windows XP. Once Microsoft stops providing updates in April 2014, your computers can become a target for new viruses and malware. Contact us to for guidance on ensuring a smooth transition.
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